Since the launch of the D&D Adventurers League, we’ve sought to include the vibrant online gaming community into our standard tabletop gaming community. I mean, we’re all playing the same game, using the same rules, and experiencing variations of the same adventures, right?
We’ve seen some successes with this in that the online software tools have become FAR more robust than they were just a few short years ago. Publishers like D&D Beyond, Fantasy Grounds, Syrinscape, and others have stepped up their game and come out swinging for the fences with their options. We have digital game interfaces, ambient sound platforms, integrated rules compendiums & adventure reference tools, and so much more… it’s basically nothing like when I started with online games (I used OpenRPG, if anyone remembers that – it was cool and I loved it, but it has nothing on the current crop of options).
The AL has had DM Quests to support this playstyle as well, with the intention of promoting it as a valid method of play. Online play was misunderstood for a long time and the community has really stepped out to show off some great innovations through their storytelling skills and demonstrating how they use the tools at their disposal, be they the ones I linked above or some homebrew, self-crafted awesome things. And as many of you have noticed, the DM Quest reward for online games has changed this season – but please note that the change isn’t a penalty as it is actually linked to two specific elements:
- online gaming has reached a level of acceptance that is AWESOME, thanks to you all and shows like Critical Role and so on
- Season 8 saw a dramatic restructuring of rewards, and in review it was determined that online games were receiving rewards that were strictly better than other playstyles
Something I’d like to stress for this DM Quest adjustment is that we’re seeking for your online games to be viewable but they don’t have to be live; you can feel free to record them and post them on Twitch or Youtube for later viewing. It’s totally fine! Several people have expressed some concerns with online gaming having a required chatroom or discussion interface… and I’d like to remind you that these things are 100% not required. Play your games, record them or stream live at your discretion, and you can determine your own level of interaction with your viewers. In a general sense, having direct interaction does generally lead to a bigger viewing audience but we get it, not everyone is in it for the viewers – some of you just want the rewards, and that’s fine too.
If you want to know more about DM Quests and use them in your games, please be sure to grab a copy of that information from our D&D Adventurers League Player & DM Pack from dmsguild.com – there’s a lot of great information in there, for sure.
And y’know, something we’ve been working with Wizards of the Coast on is the topic of “how can get an AL game on the official Twitch channel?” And… HAVE WE GOT NEWS TO REPORT!
Oh man. This is exciting stuff.
I’m willing to bet that a good chunk of you are already familiar with Beadle & Grimm’s Platinum Edition of Waterdeep Dragon Heist. If you’re not, here are the highlights:
- 20+ minis
- custom full-color battlemaps
- physical, 1:1 scale handouts including faction tokens and coins
- the Dragon Heist book, broken into easy-to-manage sections for use at the table
- special certs for Adventurers League players
The admin team is excited to see this product come out and Wizards is certainly excited, and to be frank we do hear some questions from time to time along the lines of “why is this $499?” Some of it is the expected math, and I think B&G’s Matthew Lilliard summed it up very well by saying that 5 players each chipping in $100 for a shared experience that could take months for many groups (a “full run” with 4 playthroughs, one for each villain, is probably ~100-120 hours, if not more) can really make this an affordable entertainment experience. From my own view, 2-3 hours at a movie theater is going to run me WAY more per hour than this.
Additionally, we’ve decided to use the Platinum Edition of Waterdeep Dragon Heist as our very first official AL stream on the Wizards Twitch channel! I’ll be running a group of players (some new, some experienced) through this adventure using Beadle & Grimm’s boxed set on Saturday mornings at 9am PST starting on December 1st! All of my gamers are local to the mid-Michigan area and have been briefed on the experience, and it’s been stressed that this is going to be a true “live play” experience. No scripts other than what the book provides, standard AL rules and advancement, and all that jazz but using all the shiny bits from the Platinum Edition to really make things “pop”.
And that’s not all. I’ve been working with our friends at Beadle & Grimm to see if I could get you all a little something, too. Even if you can’t catch our game you can still get your own box with a little discount of $25 off – just use the code ALAN25OFF during checkout! (please note that despite my name being there, any bounty generated from the use of that code goes into our admin fund for things like hosting services and stuff)
What does the future hold for Astrid, Otter, Agnus, Marcellus, and Magpie? We’ll find out soon enough, and over the next month or so I’ll have art and other special things to show off too!